Below you can find another chapter from the book Thank you, mum. I hope it touches your heart.
(For the Swedish version, scroll down and then select Next post.)
You were the belle of the ball around town. It was Grandma, who made your clothes, and dressed you up like a doll. Many were captivated by your beauty, you were almost ashamed of it, you tried to hide it. You were taught, like so many of us, to not shine too bright.
We had such a fun time getting ready, you and I, choosing bold and colorful clothing. We never cared about fashion trends. Thanks for all the times we went shopping at a sale or on vacation, like at Tati in Paris. Thanks for bringing me to the color analysis consultants, who told us we were "autumns" and that the warm color scheme of fall suited us. Perfect for you, born in the colorful month of September.
We often picked Dad up at the airport when he returned home from a business trip. You made sure to dress your best. You made an effort in contrast to me, picking my husband up from just about everywhere, wearing jeans and a jacket, suitable for the wet, windy weather of Gothenburg. When picking Dad up, your dress code was either a skirt or a dress. Some mascara and a little perfume out of the many he'd bought for you. There are still bottles of perfume at your house. More than could ever be used up. All these gifts were yet more tokens of Dad's undying love for you.
Since my teenage years, many people have thought we were sisters. We were almost identical. Sometimes, when I look at old photos, I need to look twice to determine who is who. I got used to replying "hi" to strangers. If they'd mistaken me for you, I wouldn't want them to think you were rude.
Thanks for your beauty and your desire to always look your best. Thanks for letting your light shine on through me, so strongly that my husband couldn’t miss it. It was my smile, my inner sun, which made him fall in love with me. I got that light from you. I inherited a part of your beauty, although I also inherited your fear of shining too bright.
Not that I worried about my beauty shining too brightly because I didn't see myself as beautiful. Pretty possibly, or maybe cute. However, I did notice that I was a quick learner, that I was fast. Like that one time in primary school, when I did a speed-reading test, my teacher asked me to start over, suspecting she had started the timer wrong. When I got the same result, she was stupefied. When taking that test again in middle school, my teacher said that I read faster than all the teachers.
After a while, I noticed my speed becoming a nuisance for my classmates and teaches. "You're done already, Annika? Maybe you could read the book again?"
A thank you to myself for finally understanding that no one should need to dim their light. Our light never casts a shadow on others, it lights up everyone close to us. It was impossible to dim your light, Mum, even if you tried.
You simply cannot dim the sun.
Please share this blogpost if you think it can help someone!
This was a chapter from the book Thank you, mum. A book for those who miss someone.
If you would like to give the book to someone you think can be soothed by it, or to yourself, you can find it on Amazon on any of the links below, or you can search for it on your Amazon of choice.
Amazon in the Netherlands (if the price of the paperback is higher than about 17 euros, check out another market)